Collins, William James

William James Collins was the son of Nicholas and Eliza Collins of Wood Lane. Nicholas Collins married Eliza Hollins at Hawarden in 1876. From census records, in 1881 Nicolas was a blacksmith and farmer of 13 acres born Heswall, Cheshire, living at Owlet’s Hall, Wood Lane. By 1891 Eliza was a widow with children William J 13 a brickrunner, Eliza A. 10, Priscilla 6, Nicholas 4, and Samuel 3. Father Nicholas died in 1889 aged 37. His youngest daughter, Sarah Ellen, was born about one month after he died and appears in the 1901 census aged 11.

William James married Margaret Marshall at Buckley St. Matthews in 1904. From a newspaper article we know they had five children. In 1911 the family living at Wood Lane were: Wm. Jas. Head 33 (Married 6 years) Coal Miner, hewer; Margaret Wife 32 ( 3 Children born, all living); Ennis Dau 5, Nicholas Son 4, Thomas Son 2; Martha Marshall mother 62 widow dress maker. All born Hawarden. His youngest son was born less than one month after he died. William James’s mother had remarried in 1904 to Lawrence Beavan and she moved out of Wood Lane to live with her new husband as licensee of the Glynne Arms.

More information about William James is presented on pages for the Hawarden Memorial.

The following appeared in the County Herald, December 27, 1918.

A sermon in memory of Private W. J. Collins R.W.F. who was killed in France on Oct. 24th was preached at St. Matthew’s parish Church by the Re. Gilbert Heaton, the vicar. The deceased soldier was 41 years of age and he leaves a widow and five children who reside at Brunswick Rd. He was a communicant and tenor singer at St. Matthews. He had been in the Army four years, but he had only been on active service four months when his death occurred

William James Collins is the only Buckley soldier known to have died in Italy in the Great War. He was 40 when he died in 1918 only 19 days before the armistice. He is only one of 4 soldiers on the Buckley Memorial who were 40 or older.

William James is remembered on the family grave at St. Matthews.

In loving memory of


Beloved son of

William James and Margaret Collins

Who died July 16th 1931

Aged 23 years

Also the above James Collins

Killed in action in Italy, October 23rd 1918

Aged 40 years

Also the said

Margaret Collins

Who died August 4th 1964

Aged 83 years

At rest


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Buckley Memorial

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